Deputy Chief Medical Officer interview on Sunrise on 16 July 2020
Read the transcript of Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd's interview on Sunrise on 16 July 2020 about coronavirus (COVID-19).
The number of people testing positive to coronavirus in Victoria each day remains shockingly high at over 200, with the amount of people hospitalised passing 100 for the first time. Joining me now Deputy Chief Health Officer, Professor Michael Kidd. Professor, appreciate your time again. As this virus spreads the demand for testing is soaring, lots of queues in both NSW and Victoria. Do we have enough testing resources?
Yes. Look, we have- we've increased our testing resources across the country, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria. We had over 60,000 tests which were carried out yesterday, David. My thanks to all those people who did join cues to get tested. Absolutely essential that anyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, gets tested. And also those people who've been instructed that they've been in contact, or potential contact with somebody who's been infected that they go and get tested as well. So thank you to everybody for enduring those queues.
Now, a man from Melbourne has been found to be patient zero for the Crossroads Hotel outbreak in Southwest Sydney which is now responsible for 34 cases. How much do we rely on this contact tracing to control the spread? And at what point does it become impossible to track?
Look, the contact tracing is one of the core and fundamental elements of our response to each outbreak of COVID-19, and very important that we to speak to each person who's been infected - we get the details of people they may have been in contact with; if they have the COVIDSafe app on their phone, that we seek permission to download those details to the state authorities.
We've seen with the numbers in Victoria that obviously there are large numbers of people who need to be followed up by the contact tracers. The Australian Defence Force personnel, the additional thousand people who've been deployed, many of those will be involved in the logistics and the carrying out of the contact tracing as well. So we're making sure that we have the capacity to be able to do this, and to do it very swiftly in order to bring the pandemic under control.
Okay. So New South Wales, only 13 cases yesterday even though it was over 200 and Victoria. Do you get a sense that we're getting on top of this latest outbreak?
Well the good thing about the figures we are seeing and Victoria - and I don't want to pre-empt what we see today - but over the last few days, the numbers, even though they have been in the 200s they've not been rising high above that and that is a good thing. It does mean that things are remaining stable at this time. Of course, we have the lockdown measures - the most effective way of preventing transmission of COVID-19 is for people to not be coming into contact with other people, and that of course is exactly what the lockdown measures are achieving.
Yup. Michael Kidd, appreciate your time. Thank you.